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hi to all

trying to setup in the trade as a full time auto-locksmith but there is so much stuff out there uk/oversea that i could use some help


can anyone give me a list of the sort of things i need and dont need


what i have got

Hpc blitz 12oo

Cea Laser machine

Cea Tibbe machine

Record Cylinder machine

Car opening kit

Sks car key boards/transponder 2 of each


list of tools and price of everything from van /inverters /machines /picks /programers /Keys / fobs /pods chips

everything that i need to start


any help






is there any way i can enter the trade group even though i am not trading yet

i have took basic training with above maintenance and ive been buying bit of stuff of sks

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I cant believe SKS sold you this stuff knowing you were notqualified and affitiated to a body :D

carry on!


Except we didn't, you'll note he says " have took basic training with above maintenance and ive been buying bit of stuff of sks"


This means he has attended a training course, from a reputable trainer and whilst we recognise that a 2-5 day course does not make someone a locksmith, it's a starting point. After all, everyone even you, had to start with only some basic knowledge and training and to progress further, you require tools and equipment and there just aren't enough company's these days willing to take on apprentices. SKS Limited really does take steps to ensure that our products are only sold to genuine businesses, whether they're starting out or been established years.




As for the basics of the equipment, you can ditch the cylinder and tibbe machines, to pick up a HPC Switch Blitz, plus a tibbe adaptor for less money, https://skskeys.co.uk/products/code-cut ... tch-blitz/.



Other than that, you'll need a transponder programing machine if you're looking at the replacement/lost key market, the AD100 Pro or MVP Pro tend to be the most popular machines for someone starting out due to the training and support provided. There are other alternatives on the market however, and I'm sure several people on this board will be able to enlighten you as to what they are.


As for the laser machine, I'd hold off on that as part of your initial purchases, simply to reduce your initial expenditure and to ensure that you've got a sound business going before adding on additional products.

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just to stop any scratching :? :?


sks did not brake any rules nor sell any tools


ebay does that to well and anyone else that sell second hand tools :wink: :wink:


but hey we all have to start somewhere


me being in sheffield there isnt an auto-locksmith here so need as much help as possible ](*,)





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hi jon, like aleady mentioned everyone starts somewhere and the affiliated bodies, for want of a better phrase can be difficult to join. the twisto tool terry mentioned is a very useful through car tool and well worth the purchace.

The questions you asked are quite a broad area and would take a long time to answer in one post, you could do with sitting down and having a chat with an auto lockie for a hour or 2 mate.

Good luck.

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This is an impossible question to answer honestly, alot depends on what you buy, ie take cloning machines;


are you looking to buy a cheap cloner ? if so this limits what blanks and chips you need to carry as it will only have limited coverage, or do you intend to buy a machine such as an RW4 ? then EHS2 battery heads and blades are a must, or a jma machine where TPX heads are a must, or the new AD900 pro or zed bull where a selection of both will prove usefull.


A programmer is an essential, as you have to enter the lost key market, very little entry work exists anymore, as every general locksmith offers auto entry as so easy to do, and the AA , RAC etc do this free for members, what they cannot do gets contracted out to the likes of timpsons , so entering the lost key market is a must for an aspiring auto lockie.

Your choice of programmer is important;


AD100 pro is the most comprehensive, has 80% coverage ish , but is the most expensive, the mvp pro is the cheaper option with same coverage, but its token based and the payg tokens do cost, so make you less competetive than the guy with his owned outright system.


OBD systems do a good system, similar coverage to ad100 without the ford rolling code, but is half the price,

dont waste your money on the chinese copies.


Then theres the direction most established auto lockies are following, which is eeprom based direct programming of chips and keys, but requires an expert level of electronics knowledge, but has 99% coverage.


its not wise to just buy in blanks etc now, until you have decided upon what equipment to buy, as the equipment you buy will affect what you can actually do, so affects what is worthwhile buying and stocking.




These are expensive, but essential to carry a stock of the most popular, but remember to carry the blades and horseshoes for the fobs you carry.


Cutting machines


most get by to start with getting the laser keys cut to code from a supplier on next day delivery at first, and get buy with a blitz , a tibbe and a cylinder cutter, you have these now and will get good use from them, dont bother with a laser machine, either save up or lease a viper cut to code machine for laser when you can and when your business warrants it. if you really want a laser machine for key copy and cloning then buy 2nd hand to start and save the big bucks for the viper once and if warranted.


a 1000 watt inverter is sufficient for your needs in most cases.


Tools for auto entry should be easy for you as you have just finished training with them;


good tibbe pick

make up a set of overlifters as only keys

relevent lishi laser picks

hpc lassoo is handy as is a switch stick

a few good air bags

hand picks, they are only wafer locks and hand pick nicely

good auto plug spinner


good extractor set for cars, none better or as good as the peterson set


the above will get you into most, but also consider repair kits and repair locks for




and any other popular make in your patch


as well as 2nd hand and new lock sets for lock changes

So alot depends upon your budget as whats best way to go for you and your situation.


what you buy will depend upon your budget to begin with, buying cheap often costs you long term, as if successfull you always end up buying the better kit at some point, so cheaper long term to buy the best to start.


a good auto lockies van to stock and equip fully can reach huge figures, anything between £20K to £100k in stock , tools and equipment.


set your budget first, then you will know what kit you can afford to get started, but save enough for advertising and promoting yourself.


once you know and have set your budget, you will know what stock is needed and what you can afford, you then also know how and what area of market to pitch your marketing towards, but you cannot plan or look at anything till budget is set, its not unusual for new starters to only have sufficient knowledge ability and budget to start with a few makes, so many start up on just ford and vauxhall, so stock accordingly, then add to this over the years as there skill and knowledge develops.


are you planning on shop or mobile or both, as this again changes what you need, due to the large number of cobblers and general locksmith shops offering spare key cutting and programming, if mobile you will get very little of this work as wont be able to compete with shop prices on this, especially if driving 30 miles each way across traffic, your needed price will be too dear, so if mobile the bulk of your work wil be lost key work.

but even the lost key work is awkward with many pin codes beyond you without eeprom chip removal and electronics, and main dealers now often lowering their prices below your own to win the work, they need it too at present, renault were offering to cut and program new keys for £85 for 1 and £125 for 2 to one of my customers last month.


Theres not as much work as many are led to believe, so if investing a big lump do your homework and ensure you will get it back again, many do fail for this reason alone, they thought they would get plenty of work from minimal advertising, its tough at mo and looking to get far tougher as we move into recession, so if i can give any worthwhile advice to you, the best is fully research you business plan, set your budgets and market effectively to the market you can service, but dont expect any real living at all in your 1st 12 to 18 months.

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Just as a bolt on.


ok you did a 5 day course, what did this cover ? how new was you ? ie any previous mechanic or electronic skills as this will have a real bearing on which way you go.

If totally new and all you have is the info from your course, then there will be an awfull lot of jobs that will be beyond you for quite some time, so the first thing for you to do is to be honest with yourself;


1) what vehicles can you honestly, open , strip locks and service. The answers to this will greatly help you stock what you need to start thats relevent to what you can do. ie , if ford , vauxhall and vw, then get the programmer thats best suited to these, ie , ad100 is only one with full ford coverage after 2002, and even then not 100%, also has the best vag pin code extraction on around 75% and has good vauxhall coverage. cloners probably the jma machine or ad900 pro, aso has the best back up and support.


2) how much budget have you set for start up, this gives you what you can afford


3) how much have you set aside for advertising and marketing, when does YP come out ?


4) i know of at least 2 auto locksmiths in south yorks and 2 in mansfield who cover sheffield, how many cobblers and locksmith shops offer key cutting and programming for cars and what do they charge for this , how many key kiosks on markets offering this, i know one who covers markets 7 days a week across south yorkshire, id bet there are quite a few ? so you will have some established competition, so proper research is a must to get your marketing spot on.


Buying equipment blind is a mugs game, work out what you can actually do, by the equipment to do this , and the stock and market to your strengths, £3k is a normal start up spend on 1st years ads to have any impact at all. its pointless buying blanks and kit for vag if you cannot do them for instance, or cannot extract the pin, as vw will not release it to you or the customer.


Once you have established realisticly what jobs you can cover following your training, you will know what kit to buy, pointless buying kit to not use .


happy to advise you on what and where to buy, but it will make giving this advise alot easier if i know what you can do and what your budget is, then at least any advice can be specific to your needs.


if a real novice fresh from training, then in reality you will only be able to do around 40% of the jobs that you get called for, so its pointless spending blind, better to spend wisely, and channel your start up capital where it can do you the most good.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi to all


Thanks to all for your advise :D :D


some very good eye openers :shock:


but is there anychance all of you auto-locksmiths could do me a list of what you carry on the van


also a realistic turnover just on auto work


yes i know every area will be different but just need to get a generall idea


i have put together a list of some stuff im thinking of , if you mail me i will sent it to you and you can comment or add to this





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I have been in the keycutting business for nine years, including programming car keys, and I would advise anyone starting out as a locksmith to become familiar with copying keys first. I have a fully kitted Sprinter van with 1500w inverter (make sure you fit second leisure battery and charging system), with two cylinder machines, two club junior laser machines (one set up for garrisons etc) ford tibbe and blitz machines. Best start out with MVP Pro from AD for low set up cost, and maximum vehicle coverage. Anyone can pick certain locks with practice, its what to do when you hit a snag, can ruin your reputation. I do not advertise as a locksmith, simply because I am not qualified to do so. This does not mean I cannot do some basic locksmithing tasks. I run a successful business copying keys, and that is how I promote myself. Some day I will venture into the locksmithing minefield, but only when I feel ready to do so. DON'T PROMISE WHAT YOU CAN'T DELIVER. If you start with basic key copying and gain confidence with practice, you will know yourself what you are capable of. Always pass on work you cannot do, to those that can. Good luck and hope this post helps you.

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Hi Jon

turnover depends again on what you can do but again it also depends on how much your gonna charge

I know some guys who charge 75 quid for a rover remote but then others charge 35 quid dont figure?

good starting point would be for to get agency work from all the big boys just register with them and tell them what you can and cant do and work will be steady from them.

Keymaker covered about what would be a great start and i would say hes spot on.

Its hard making a business plan up but once you realise what you need for starting up just do a good bad and ugly forecast and hope for the bad one as thats probably your best bet in these times.

I think ive got some files if i can find them can email them to you for more ideas they are based on general locksmithing but will give you an idea

carry on!

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  • 5 years later...


Just to ask who does the best training as just bought trs5000, mvp pro ,abrites and truecode adding zed full the end of August before we start advertising from our shop in Bournemouth we already do shoes and keys and engraving so thought a van would work with it ,bought all this with no training . so a code machine, ad900 , tango and orange code x lite , lishi I presume would need to be added . would love to no what transponder Tel has in his van as he seems to be one of the best .

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reading back over this thread , how things have changed since 2008 in kit we carry as must have kit . abrites being my biggest important purchase . kd200 has become a valuable addition as has true code software and dongle .


the job has become 10 times easier with the intro of lishi , better and cheaper cutting machines , better sogtware etc etc , certainly the needs of the auto locksmith have altered kit wise , with the likes of abrites and some main dealer tools being must have kit , i wonder what will have changed when we revisit this again in another 7 years time.

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  • 3 months later...

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